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Business Writing

Don’t Be So Punny

daily show logo

This Daily Show segment, while aimed at news shows, rings true for business communicators, too.

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Is it a Slogan or a Key Message?

In the continuing discussion of key messages in your business writing, here's a quick example of how a slogan can reflect underlying key messages.

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Key Messages that Resonate


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How to work with a Ghost Writer

People ask me all the time if there's A WAY to work with a ghostwriter. Chemistry between any two people varies so I can only answer by describing the way I work with my clients.

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Argh! Piracy in the Newsletter

engraving of Blackbeard

Perhaps you don't even realize you're a pirate. Most people committing acts of piracy don't realize they're stealing.

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Mark Twain, The First Blogger?

Tamela Rich & bust of Mark Twain in Hannibal, MO 2010

I totally understand Twain's decision to dictate his story, mostly from his bed in the four years before his death at age 74. He argued that speaking his recollections and opinions, rather than writing them down, allowed him to adopt a more natural, colloquial and frank tone, and Twain scholars who have seen the manuscript agree.

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Strategy First, SPAM-Avoidance Second

WOW, it feels good when a stranger calls from two time zones away and says "Thanks to you I know everything I've been doing wrong."

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You’re Only Fooling Yourself

Last week, under the presumption of sending me St. Patrick's Day greetings, I got this from a life insurance agent who likes to pose as a financial advisor...This kind of crappy communications gives the insurance sector a black eye.

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Home Office Design Tips — From a Financial Advisor?

With financial reform and the worldwide economic meltdown on most everyone’s mind, sending a newsletter with fluff like this makes me question whether this advisor is in the loop or out to lunch. C’mon, talk to me about something you’re a credentialed expert in!

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Oriental Rugs & Business Writing

True story: I was once written up for using college level vocabulary on the job. Yes, it was in a written performance evaluation. No, I was not writing for a living at the time; was running a line of business. You might not guess that my employer was a bank, where most workers had some college and many had MBAs. Go figure. Just one of the reasons I'm forever freelance.

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